The Edible Bus Stop: from guerrilla garden to Lambeth ‘Pocket Park’

By Isabel Hope-Urwin

A child explores The Edible Bus Stop
A child explores the edible bus stop

Regular readers may already know of Stockwell’s Edible Bus Stop which Brixton Blog has visited before. Well last weekend it had its official opening as one of London’s Pocket Parks! Isabel Hope-Urwin went down to find out more about the amazing journey of this wonderful space. You can follow Isabel on Twitter here and check her blog here.

Crowds gathered in the streets of Stockwell last Saturday for the grand opening of The Edible Bus Stop.

Stationed on the 322 bus route along Landor Road, the community space is one of 100 developments backed by the Mayor of London’s Pocket Parks programme aimed at getting London a bit greener.

The project began as a guerrilla garden venture two years ago and has transformed the patch of disregarded scrub into a green and structured public space. The eco-conscious determination of locals clearly attracted wider attention, as the project, which was awarded funding by Boris Johnson earlier this year, was one of the first ‘pocket parks’ to get underway.

Crowd gathers for grand opening of Edible Bus Stop
Crowd gathers for grand opening of Edible Bus Stop

A worthy cause for celebration, visitors travelled from all corners of the borough last weekend to join the festivities, which were kicked off by Southwark Children’s Brass Band.

While volunteers handed out seeds on the way to Landor Road, the youngsters braved the grey skies and entertained pedestrians with an impressive assortment of British favourites from the top deck of an open air bus. Chelsea Fringe festival representatives, who helped organise the event, were also on site to lend a hand and make sure the day’s timetable remained intact amid the excitement.

Founding member of The Edible Bus Stop, Mak Gilchrist, speaks proudly of the project’s accessibility. Behind The Edible Bus Stop is the intrinsic sentiment that ‘all are welcome to join in, whether to garden, share skills, bring tea or have a chat and meet their neighbourhood’. Through this open door outlook, Gilchrist aims to encourage a more cohesive community.

Saturday’s opening was proof that this aspiration had been accomplished. A huge number of people arrived to mingle, discuss gardening tips and donate vegetables. One family even brought a tray of potatoes that had been sprouting on their windowsill with nowhere to be planted.

Planting the town green
Planting the town green

With drinks and a vegetarian buffet donated by Landor Road’s very own green-fingered specialists and purveyors of organic food, D Vine Cellars and the Alkarmel Café, the tidy-up was clearly motivated by a neighbourhood passion for gardening and home grown produce. But no one wants to stop the bus in Stockwell.

The Edible Bus Stop campaign is seeking out disused sites across London and, with resident volunteers and a small budget, intends to create a network of usable growing spaces for local communities. It is this monumental agenda that appears to have caught the interest of City Hall.

While the Mayor has pronounced Stockwell’s pocket park a ‘plentiful oasis of calm’ and commended those involved for their investment in the city as a whole, speeches on Saturday resounded with neighbourly pride in the community’s achievement.

What was once an old bomb site, neglected since the Second World War, has transformed into a promising garden patch and instantly brightened the area. Landor Road’s residents, the regulars who traverse the 322 bus route, and anyone who just happens to stumble across The Edible Bus Stop are all bound to benefit from the community’s collective vision.

The Edible Bus Stop: from guerrilla garden to Lambeth 'Pocket Park'
The Edible Bus Stop: from guerrilla garden to Lambeth ‘Pocket Park’


  1. Excellent post! Very nice of you that you shared images of such an exemplary bus stop. All the bus stops should be transformed to green public place so that all the passengers get entertained.

  2. Well done to the workmen who braved the cold weather. Looks beautiful. sorry i dont live nearer.

Comments are closed.